Simon O’Sullivan

Simon O’Sullivan

Fictioning: from Mythopoesis to Myth-Science
My talk will address the performance of fictions. In particular I will be interested in how such practices (of what I call fictioning) can open up other worlds from within this one and how this might constitute a ‘counter-strategy’ against todays post-truth and post-fact political terrain. I will also introduce my wider collaborative research project (carried out with David Burrows) on mythopoesis/myth-science/mythotechnesis, attending to a historical sequencing between these but also, more importantly, to the idea of temporal loops operating between different pasts, presents and futures. My own collaborative art practice Plastique Fantastique (again, with Burrows, alongside Alex Marzeta and Vanessa Page), will be offered up as a further case study of this fictioning function.

My talk will address the performance of fictions. In particular I will be interested in how such practices (of what I call fictioning) can open up other worlds from within this one and how this might constitute a ‘counter-strategy’ against todays post-truth and post-fact political terrain. I will also introduce my wider collaborative research project (carried out with David Burrows) on mythopoesis/myth-science/mythotechnesis, attending to a historical sequencing between these but also, more importantly, to the idea of temporal loops operating between different pasts, presents and futures. My own collaborative art practice Plastique Fantastique (again, with Burrows, alongside Alex Marzeta and Vanessa Page), will be offered up as a further case study of this fictioning function.

Simon O’Sullivan is a theorist and artist working at the intersection of contemporary art practice, performance and continental philosophy. He has published three monographs, two with Palgrave Macmillan, Art Encounters Deleuze and Guattari: Thought Beyond Representation (2005) and On the Production of Subjectivity: Five Diagrams of the Finite-Infinite Relation (2012), and, more recently, Fictioning: The Myth-Functions of Contemporary Art and Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press, 2019), co-written with David Burrows. He is also co-editor (with Henriette Gunkel and Ayesha Hameed) of Futures and Fictions (Repeater, 2017) and (with Stephen Zepke) of both Deleuze, Guattari and the Production of the New (Continuum, 2008) and Deleuze and Contemporary Art (Edinburgh University Press, 2009). His collaborative art practice – with David Burrows, Alex Marzeta and Vanessa Page, sometimes with and others – comes under the name Plastique Fantastique, a ‘performance fiction’ that involves an investigation into aesthetics, subjectivity, the sacred, popular culture and politics produced through, performance, film and sound work, comics, text, installations and assemblages. Plastique Fantastique have performed and exhibited widely in the UK and abroad and are represented by IMT Gallery in London.